Matthew 10:28 - Fear God Only!
Mat 10:28 (KJV) And fear not them which kill the body, but are
not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell.
"Do not be afraid of people. They can only kill the body, but
not the soul." (UBS Translator Handbook Series)
The reference is not to Satan, as many suppose, but to God who
alone has power to "destroy both soul and body in hell." [Scofield
This verse is not talking about Satan, for he does not have the
power to destroy body and soul in hell. God does, and Christ tells us
to fear Him and Him alone. When you fear God, you need fear nothing
else.... What an encouragement it is to know that we represent the King
of kings and that He is right with us as we serve Him. [Wiersbe
God alone is able to destroy both soul and body in hell, [The
The second reason for learning not to fear men emerges from the
fact that the worst they can do does not match the worst God can do.
Though Satan may have great power (6:13; 24:22), only God can destroy
soul and body in hell. "The fear of the LORD is" therefore "the
beginning of wisdom" (Prov 9:10); for if God be truly feared, none other
need be. Fear of men proves to be a snare (Prov 29:25). [Expositors
The fear of God, and of his power reigning in the soul, will be
a sovereign antidote against the fear of man. (Matthew Henry's
It was said of John Knox, as they buried him, "Here lies one who
feared God so much that he never feared the face of any man." [Barclay
What was the strength of those who in the past have suffered
persecution for Christ's sake? It was union with God, union with the Holy
Spirit, union with Christ. Reproach and persecution have separated many
from earthly friends, but never from the love of Christ. Never is the
tempest-tried soul more dearly loved by His Saviour than when he is suffering
reproach for the truth's sake. "I will love him," Christ said, "and will
manifest Myself to him." John 14:21. When for the truth's sake the
believer stands at the bar of earthly tribunals, Christ stands by his
side. When he is confined within prison walls, Christ manifests
Himself to him and cheers his heart with His love. When he suffers death
for Christ's sake, the Saviour says to him, They may kill the body,
but they cannot hurt the soul. "Be of good cheer; I have overcome
the world." "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for
I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea,
I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." John
16:33; Isaiah 41:10. AA85,6
Jesus predicted that his followers would be severely persecuted
by those who hated what he stood for. In the midst of terrible
persecutions, however, they could have hope, knowing that salvation was
theirs. Times of trial serve to sift true Christians from false or
fair-weather Christians. When you are pressured to give up and turn your back
on Christ, don't do it. Remember the benefits of standing firm, and
continue to live for Christ. Standing firm to the end is not a way to be
saved but the evidence that a person is really committed to Jesus.
Persistence is not a means to earn salvation; it is the by-product of a
truly devoted life. [Life Application SB re Mat.10:16-42]
Jesus said that God is aware of everything that happens even to
sparrows, and you are far more valuable to him than they are. You are so
valuable that God sent his only Son to die for you (John 3:16). Because
God places such value on you, you need never fear personal threats
or difficult trials. These can't shake God's love or dislodge his
Spirit from within you. But this doesn't mean that God will take away
all your troubles (see Matthew 10:16). The real test of value is how
well something holds up under the wear, tear, and abuse of everyday
life. Those who stand up for Christ in spite of their troubles truly
have lasting value and will receive great rewards (see Matthew
5:11-12). [Life Application SB re Mat.10:26-42]
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that those who suffer
unjust treatment will have a "great" reward in heaven (see Matt. 5:10).
The elect who have been abused, abandoned, stolen from, taken
advantage of--all will be rewarded for their pain. . . .
God knows when we suffer unjustly. . . . God has not abandoned
you to the whims and wishes of those who are more powerful. He knows
when His children are overlooked for advancement because of their
religious views. Young lady, He knows when less talented women are
advanced past you because you refuse to compromise morally. He flees the
abandoned mother who never knows from month to month if her estranged
husband is going to send a check. God is taking it all in. He has
already appointed a prosecuting attorney, a jury, and a judge. And they
are all the same person--the Lord Jesus. On that court date He will
bring about justice for His elect. Charles Stanley [Time With God SB]
Have you been sent by Jesus? Being "sent" is not just for
missionaries. Disciples of Jesus Christ have been sent, but where? Jesus is
telling His disciples He is sending them among men who will flog them
and throw them in prison. He is warning them that even relatives
will betray one another to death! If we have been sent, we must go.
Wherever it is, whether to serve in the home, in business, on the field,
in politics, the pulpit or any other place, we must be prepared for
the response of unbelief. It is natural. If we never see such
resistance, we need to ask our Father if we have misunderstood His
directions to where He has sent us. Either we are not there, or we are not
living the life we are sent to live; not proclaiming from housetops
what God has whispered in our ear. God forbid we are not serving Him
because of what we fear man can do. Do not fear; serve where you've
been sent and acknowledge Jesus before men. He will acknowledge you
before the Father. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
Here it is again! A description of a job nobody wants.
I mean, who wants work as a sheep among wolves? (10:16) Who
wants to be handed over to local councils to be flogged? (v. 18) Who
wants family conflict? (v. 21) Who wants to be hated? (v. 22) Who
wants to be persecuted? (v. 23)
It's fine to say things like, all this happened to Jesus first
(vv. 24-25). And, hey, they can only kill your body, can't they? (v.
28) But no matter how you cut it, this business of being a disciple
doesn't look all that attractive. Try putting this kind of ad in the
paper, and see how many applicants you get.
But then, at the end of Matthew 11, Jesus added something that
makes it all worthwhile. He invites us, "Take My yoke upon you and
learn from Me" (11:29). The yoke, which rested on the shoulders of
oxen hitched to a plow, was used to distribute the burden of work.
The oxen pulled together, and neither was overwhelmed.
Being yoked to Jesus doesn't so much mean that we take on His
burdens, but that He, pulling alongside us, takes on ours. Yes, it's
tough to be a disciple. It's a challenging and disciplined life. Yet
the disciple by the very fact of his commitment is yoked to Jesus.
And in that relationship, with Jesus taking on most of the load, we
find not added burdens but an amazing inner rest.
Despite all appearances, the disciple of Jesus knows the truth.
Jesus' "yoke is easy and My burden is light." [The 365-Day Devotional
Those who are true to God need not fear the power of men nor the
enmity of Satan. In Christ their eternal life is secure. Their only
fear should be lest they surrender the truth, and thus betray the
trust with which God has honored them. DA356
Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not
be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells
them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has dealt
fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with
in his service;.... It appears plainly, that all who will live godly
in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to
enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations..... Christ will
lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. [Matthew Henry
Although believers will be persecuted, they can trust that God
has a plan for all difficult circumstances. [Inspirational SB]
Temporal death is a slight thing compared with eternal death.
We do well to remember that the penalties which men can exact
are as nothing to the penalties which God can exact and to the
rewards which he can give. [Barclay Commentary]